Basashi is a traditional Japanese horse meat sashimi dish. It is typically accompanied by condiments including sliced onions, grated ginger and garlic, and is then dipped in sweet soy sauce. It is usually consumed cold (almost frozen in the middle) and is considered to be a popular side dish for drinks.
It is said that consuming frozen basashi helps to avoid the spread of a deadly bacteria known as Sarcocystis. It can be eaten along with thin slices of raw horse meat covered in a shiso leaf.
Horse meat is known to be leaner when compared to other meats out there. The meat has a slightly sweet flavour and is believed to taste very similar to beef. Its colour is dependent on its maturity and can range from pink to dark red.
Horse meat exists in various different flavours and textures depending on the area. As well as sashimi, there are a variety of different cooking methods followed to prepare this meat. Some of them include grilled meat, smoked meat and shabushabu.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The exact origin of basashi is still unknown. However, there are many different stories regarding its origin. Some people believe that then feudal lord Kiyomasa Kato encouraged its consumption when there was a severe food shortage in Higo Kumamoto.
Today, this dish is known to be a speciality in Kumamoto, a city on the Japanese island of Kyushu. Horse meat is also referred to as “Sakura niku (meat)” because of its colour being similar to Sakura flowers.
As well as Japan, basashi is also widely consumed in many other countries. Its popularity is said to have increased considerably ever since the end of the First World War. Today, it is one of the most commonly used household dishes.
- Fresh boneless horse neck - 250g
- Fresh ginger - 4 cm
- Onions - 2
- Light soy sauce - 2 tbsp
- Fresh nettle - 2 leaves
- Lime juice - 1 tbsp
- Grated horseradish - 1 tbsp
- Dandelion flower (for decoration) - 1
- White pepper
- Begin by taking the horse meat, nettle leaves and ginger and washing all the ingredients. Once done, drain the water.
- Now, take a plate and place the nettle leaves on it. Cut the pork neck into pieces and transfer it into a bowl.
- Next, sprinkle a pinch of white pepper and salt on top of the chopped meat. Add soy sauce and lime juice. Combine all the ingredients properly and add the nettle leaves to the mixture.
- Take the ginger and peel it. Now, take a fine-mesh vegetable grater and grate the ginger on it. Add it to the rest of the ingredients.
- The next step is to grate the horseradish and also add the peeled and thinly sliced onion to the other ingredients. Garnish the dish with a dandelion flower and there you have it. Your basashi is ready to be served.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1418mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g